The effect of sodium nitroprusside on survival and stress signaling in PC12 rat phaeochromocytoma cells expressing a dominant negative RasH mutant protein

Judit Bátor, Judit Varga, József Szeberényi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Toxic concentrations of the second messenger nitric oxide cause cellular stress leading to cell death. Ras proteins, possible targets of nitric oxide-induced nitrosylation, may act as mediators in nitrosative stress. To analyze the possible involvement of Ras proteins in nitric oxide cytotoxicity, a PC12 rat phaeochromocytoma cell line expressing a dominant negative Ras mutant protein was used in this study. Cytotoxic concentrations of the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside activated several proapoptotic mechanisms, including stimulation of the stress kinase pathways mediated by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), inhibition of the translation initiation factor eIF2α, induction and phosphorylation of the p53 protein, and inhibited Akt-mediated antiapoptotic signaling, independent of Ras function. Simultaneously, Ras-dependent stimulation of the prosurvival ERK pathway was also observed, followed by an increased activation of the caspase-9/caspase-3 cascade in cells with impaired Ras function. It is concluded that nitric oxide stimulation of multiple signaling pathways contributes to the cell death program, whereas concomitant activation of the Ras/ERK pathway provides a certain degree of protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2013



  • Apoptosis
  • Nitric oxide
  • PC12 cells
  • Ras
  • Sodium nitroprusside

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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